Be an Encourager
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 1st Thessalonians 5:11-15
It’s not easy always being an encourager. There are lots of issues in life that keep our attention focused on the here and now – right in front of us are all kinds of issues that we have to deal with. And yet, Lent is a great reminder to keep our eyes focused on things and people beyond us.
1st Thessalonians 5 is about the second coming. This world won’t last forever. There is coming a day… and even if it isn’t THE day, YOUR day will come. Life is short. Make the most if it while you can.
Paul’s instructions for the Church at Thessalonica didn’t say “Just be happy.” He said “Encourage one another,” and “Be at peace among yourselves.” He said “Help the weak,” “comfort the discouraged,” and “pursue what is good for one another and for all.” We like to complain about the irresponsible – but do we “warn” them.
Paul’s list of things to do reminds us that others are having tough days too. They will need encouragement, warning, comfort, help, patience – and we are to help them find it.
Wouldn’t it be a challenge to take these admonitions and practice them each day – to look for people who need these things? Who around you needs encouragement today? Who needs help? Who needs patience? Or comfort?
Look for them and do something. When you do, God’s grace will enable you – thus you are blessed. You are empowered. And the more you give the more you get.
Give up focusing on your own needs and see the needs of others. God has placed them in your life for a reason. Maybe you are the one He has planned to be His hands and feet – to meet those needs.
Take up the challenge today – look around and see who God has placed in front of you. What are their needs today and how can you be a part of meeting them?
Our prayer today –
Lord, help me to see with your eyes. Help me to see the needs of those around me – people you love and want to reach. I want to be a part of what you are doing – show me their needs and how I can help.
Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer